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WRAP-UP: GGBTS trustees OK $10M budget


MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BP)–Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary trustees adopted a 2008-09 budget of $10,473,000, up 3.4 percent from the current year, during their April 7-8 meeting at the seminary’s Northern California campus in Mill Valley.

Trustees also received updates about the seminary’s 2010 strategic plan and the Partners for the Future capital campaign and were introduced to a new strategic planning process.

“This budget assumes where we are, not where we hope to be,” GGBTS President Jeff Iorg said, noting that the budget is based on last year’s numbers and not projected expectations.

In his report to trustees, Iorg shared the progress of the 2010 strategic plan, adopted in April 2005. “We continue to have strong enrollment in the Ph.D., D.Min. and CLD [Contextualized Leadership Development] programs. The Ph.D. program continues to attract new applicants, and we are in the very positive position of having many more applicants than we are permitted to admit.” Iorg also noted that enrollment at the Southern California campus, Rocky Mountain campus in Denver and Arizona campus in Phoenix also is healthy and growing.

Iorg presented a new strategic planning initiative, called the “Diamond Plan,” to take the seminary through its 75th year (diamond anniversary) in 2020.

“This is the most significant part of what we’re going to do in the next six months,” Iorg said. He requested that the trustees think broadly as they contemplate “the seminary as you dream it can be.” He noted that “planning has a spiritual perspective, and we will seek God’s plan and direction for our future.”


Iorg reported on new communication tools that have been launched by the seminary. A website, www.jeffiorg.com, provides weekly commentary and leadership insights, while an e-newsletter, 3-Minute Briefing, relates information about Golden Gate’s programs and delivery systems. In addition, Iorg shared news of his new book, “Is God Calling Me?” to be released in June. Aimed at 18-22-year-olds, the book offers assistance to those considering God’s call in their lives.

Trustees also heard reports from each regional campus.

Regarding the faculty, trustees learned that professor of church history Dwight Honeycutt will retire in July after 20 years of service. “My gratitude goes to God and to these trustees. You are a wonderful legacy for this institution,” Honeycutt said.

Sabbatical leave recommendations were approved for faculty members Harry Hahne, Rick Melick and John Shouse.

Iorg announced the presidential appointment of faculty candidate Chris Chun, who will teach church history. Chun is a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with two master’s degrees and is scheduled to complete his doctoral studies at the University of St. Andrews this summer. Michael Martin, vice president for academic affairs, described Chun as “an outstanding young Southern Baptist scholar, and we expect him to make an exceptional contribution both to the study of his discipline and to the training of theological students for ministry.”

Golden Gate’s trustee reports included Nevada trustee Joe Taylor, chair of the institutional advancement committee, who noted that the seminary is just over two and a half years into its Partners for the Future campaign. With the goal of raising $13 million over a five-year period, he told the board “we have raised 8.5 million and anticipate reaching our goal.”

In other action, trustees elected their executive committee for 2008-09: E.W. McCall, chairman; Randy Adams, vice chairman; Janie Finlay, secretary; Taylor Field, instruction; Joe Taylor, institutional advancement; Ken Owens, student relations and finance, and Bob Fargarson, properties.

Four of Golden Gate’s 39 trustees completed their terms of service at the meeting: Steven Cavanaugh, Danny Dixon, Joe Panter and Cecil Sims. The board also accepted the resignations of Ed Armstrong, Kenneth Cavey, Calvin Kelly and Adam Kravets.

Also on the board’s schedule was the dedication of a new campus playground. The ceremony was attended by GGBTS staff, trustees, student families and students from the Golden Gate Academy Preschool. A major portion of the funds for the playground were donated by an anonymous donor from the local neighborhood. “The quality of life on our seminary campus is determined by many factors,” Iorg said. “When you’re a 5-year-old, it’s having a fun place to play.”

At a spring banquet hosted by the Northern California campus, the seminary’s Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Jack Rice, a developer in the Sacramento area who has been a generous supporter of the seminary for more than 25 years. Several individuals and churches also were recognized for their financial support of the seminary.

The 2008 fall trustee meeting will be Oct. 12-14 in Santa Ana, Calif., near the seminary’s Southern California campus in Brea.
Phyllis Evans is director of communications for Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.